5 Tips for Surviving wedding dress shopping

Since you all really enjoyed last weeks post on the 9 things I learned while wedding planning, I decided to keep wedding Wednesday going until I share my wedding day with you all (or until you get sick of it ha!). My very dear friend who is currently in the process of wedding planning asked me to share a few tips on wedding dress shopping. So here goes nothing!

Start your search at least nine months or more prior to your wedding date
For procrastinators like myself this one might be tough, however, you really need to start looking as soon as you can! Starting early gives you the opportunity to visit a few more boutiques than you would have if you started late in the game. Research the boutiques you want to visit and start booking your appointments. Even if you're unsure about what kind of dress you want, at least you'll have your appointments booked which is half the battle!

Have an general idea of what you want before you start shopping
Having a general idea of the type of dress you see yourself wearing will absolutely make your shopping experience smoother. I'm not saying that what you envision is what you'll leave the shop with (more on that later) but it will help your bridal consultant know where to start. Prior to your appointment, search the boutique's website and take note of the styles and designers you like. This way you'll feel prepared with a few options before you head into your appointment. If there is something particular that you love on a boutique's website, make sure you call prior to your appointment and confirm it's on the shop floor. I made this mistake and had zero options to try during one appointment, the consultant felt bad and let me look through all of the racks myself!

Limit the entourage when you start shopping for your dress
Try your best to keep your bridal shopping crew small when you are shopping for dresses. You might feel like you need a village to help you narrow down the selections, but I feel that the more opinions might make it harder. Also, everyone's styles and tastes are so much different than your own. The more people with different points of view will really make the decision making a challenge. If you feel like you can't shop without your crew, try and split them up between a few appointments. That way they all get to experience shopping with you but you don't have to deal with the stress of everyone's opinions at once.

Keep an open mind
During my first appointment, my bridal consultant had some pretty interesting dresses that she wanted me to try on. Some were exciting while others were just down right hideous. Instead of brushing the not so exciting dresses to the side, I made it a point to try them on for process of elimination and at the very least for a good laugh. There would be no other time I would get to try on bridal gowns so I had fun testing out different silhouettes! Keeping an open mind helps you to stumble upon silhouettes, colors, and designers that you never thought you would have considered prior. I had a clear vision of myself in this lace long sleeve number (very Kate Middleton-esque) and when I went to try on a similar style, I hated it. I truly never thought I wanted a strapless gown for my wedding and that's what I ended up with! So trust the process and allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone to find the dress of your dreams!

Don't feel like you have to try on a certain number of dresses before you find the one
Some people find their wedding dress during their first trip to a bridal salon and some find it after five different appointments. Don't feel like you have to try on a million dresses or book a million bridal appointments in order to make your decision. I found my dress at my second bridal appointment and I remember saying to my mom "should I keep shopping, don't you think this is too soon". I felt like I needed to keep looking for the sake of looking which would have only been a waste of time because the dress I fell in love with was right in from of me! When you know you know. Also, you might not cry when you find your dress or have this say yes to the dress tv moment, but you will be very confident in your decision which is all the confirmation you need!